Georgia Forges Long-Term Economic Strategy
19 September, 2013
Georgia Forges Long-Term Economic Strategy
Energy and agriculture will be priority sectors of Georgian economy in the coming seven years as stipulated by the Georgian Authorities in a long-term strategy paper of economic and social development of Georgia elaborated in cooperation with the sector pundits and put under public scrutiny after its presentation on 13 September, 2013. A certain part of the private sector and economic analysts believe that accents should fall on the knowledge-based economic development that will transform Georgia into a regional logistic
center. However, the paper is still in its raw state and more opinions as well as amendments are welcome, the administration suggests.
The much expected document that molds social and economic development strategy of Georgia until 2020 has been finally released. The paper is a result of collaboration of the cabinet of ministers, business associations and the central bank as well as independent economic analysts and aims at raising competitive power of the country as its final goal.
“Georgian economy must get competitive because only through increased competitive power we can solve the problems that we face,” Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finances, stated during the presentation event. According to him, the key messages the Strategy paper is sending are improved business environment and secured property rights. To achieve these challenges, the draft will be supported by three pillars such as fair competition, development of human resources, and access to financial resources. Microeconomic stability, efficient budgetary expenditure policy and state management must be ensured as preconditions for the said challenges.
The document is expected to be finalized by fall so as the legislative body will discuss the project and approve it during the autumn session. The group of economic experts started working on the economic strategy of Georgia shortly after Bidzina Ivanishvili, the richest Georgian tycoon, engaged oneself into politics and founded an opposition political coalition Georgian Dream in February, 2012. The strategy was supposed to be worked out right after the parliamentary elections last October. However the process happened to be protracted up to date. The strategy will be an obligatory guideline to all state structures on which they will base their action plans and economic decisions.
The draft strategy names energy and agriculture as priority sectors of Georgian economy. However, some people disagree with the agricultural part. Lado Papava, Professor of economics and rector of Tbilisi State University, believes that the focus should fall on modern economic knowledge-based development rather than agriculture as the latter does not ensure a high level of welfare of the country. According to him, there are many countries in the world that are developed based on agriculture alone but most of them are poor.
Irakli Lekvinadze, economic analyst, also disagrees with the agricultural focus, which he believes should be shifted on to the transit potential of Georgia in order to transform it into a regional logistic and financial center together with the developed energy sector.
“Agriculture is very important but to my mind, it cannot be set as a priority in a long-term development plan of Georgia. The transit function of the country looks much more perspective; I mean to aim at playing a regional hub from logistic as well as financial points of view, plus energy sector,” he said.

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